Tsarnaev lawyers defend use of juror quotes in third bid to move trial outside Massachusetts

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FILE - This file photo provided Friday, April 19, 2013 by the Federal Bureau of Investigation shows Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. The focus of the Boston Marathon bombing trial figures to be as much on what punishment Dzhokhar Tsarnaev could face as on his responsibility for the attack. With testimony expected to start later in January 2015, the Justice Department has given no indication it is open to any proposal from the defense to spare Tsarnaev's life, pushing instead toward a trial that could result in a death sentence. (AP Photo/FBI, File)


BOSTON — Lawyers for Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev said Friday they did nothing wrong by including excerpts from juror questionnaires in their third request to move the trial outside Massachusetts.

In a court filing Thursday, Tsarnaev's lawyers included comments some prospective jurors wrote saying they believe Tsarnaev is guilty and should receive the death penalty.

Judge George O'Toole Jr. later ordered the document sealed and called the defense use of juror comments from confidential questionnaires "improper."

On Friday, Tsarnaev's lawyers said the excerpts they included did not identify jurors in any way. They asked the judge to remove the word "improper" from his order.

Tsarnaev is charged in the 2013 attack, which killed three people and injured more than 260.

In its motion, the defense argued that Tsarnaev cannot receive a fair trial in Massachusetts because many have personal connections to the bombing.

They cited excerpts from questionnaires, including one prospective juror who wrote, "We all know he's guilty so quit wasting everybody's time with a jury and string him up."

The judge has not ruled on the latest request to move the trial.

O'Toole continued questioning prospective jurors Friday. He had originally said he expected opening statements in the trial to take place on Monday, but the process of jury selection has been slower than anticipated. No firm date has been set for openings.

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